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MDC team takes home first place honors at annual Dragon Boat Race

MDC team

MDC team takes first place

Miami, December 13, 2007 - For the second year in a row, Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Sharks boat race team won first place in the 250 meter College-Mixed Regular Competition at the 2007 Miami Dragon Boat Club Challenge on Saturday, Dec. 8, from the docks of the Miami Rowing Club in Virginia Key.   

Jaime Anzalotta, director of Student Life at MDC’s North Campus, was joined by 50 students in yellow t-shirts representing the college’s eight campuses.  

“This is a great opportunity to be part of an activity that promotes teamwork, the Chinese culture and discipline,” said Anzalotta.  

Twelve teams from South Florida and one from Tampa participated in the boat race, which is hosted by the Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Following tradition, the boats measured 40 feet in length, four feet in width and carried 20 paddlers, one drummer, and one steers-person. On average, these boats weigh 500 pounds.   

Last year, the MDC team defeated strong challengers, such as the Puff Angles, a professional dragon boat race team, and the Acceler-Azn team from the University of Miami. The College has participated in the race for the past three years and, in 2005, the MDC North Campus held a Chinese dragon boat festival.   

“As a higher learning institution, we encourage and support diversity among our students,” said MDC North Campus President Dr. José Vicente. “On a larger scale, we seek to enrich the community by providing an array of unique cultural events.”    

Dragon Boat races are historically part of the Dragon Boat Festival, one of three major Chinese holidays. The festival began as an occasion for driving off evil spirits and pestilence, and for finding peace in one’s life. The boat race was added to the festival in honor of patriot-poet Qu Yuan, a minister who protested the turbulence in his country by jumping into the Mi Lo River and taking his life. 

For additional information about the race, please contact: Jaime Anzalotta, director of Student Life at the North Campus, (305) 237-1252.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

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